Cross-cutting theme lead: Catherine Harmer
► About the theme
Experimental medicine models aim to address this by uncovering key underlying processes, which are targeted by established treatments. It is increasingly recognised by the pharmaceutical industry that the introduction of experimental medicine models can:
- overcome the limitations of preclinical screening models
- de-risk drug development
- increase the success of identifying successful treatments in subsequent randomised control trials (RCT)
At Oxford we have established expertise and infrastructure in this area. We can add strength and depth to our core Oxford Health BRC Research Themes by developing an experimental structure for testing of new treatments for mental disorders. Experimental medicine has the potential to bring great benefit to patients and the public through increased availability of diverse treatments.
► What are our aims?
- Enable early identification and testing of new treatments for mental and cognitive disorders
- Enhance our experimental medicine capability and capacity
- Harmonise activities in experimental medicine across core themes
- Transform the methodology and structure for informed decision making about novel treatment development and RCT design
- Provide a method for predicting and refining treatment for individuals with mood and anxiety disorders
- Roll out our experimental medicine models to the pharmaceutical industry and the wider research community
- Formulate precision models for combined pharmacological and psychological treatments
► How are we achieving this?
- Using our framework to understand mechanisms of treatments across core themes
- Focusing on the early effects of therapeutic interventions, often seen before changes in symptoms
- Examining the influence of mood stabilising medication, psychological interventions, and novel compounds for the treatment of bipolar disorder
- Evaluating the ability of our measures to predict therapeutic benefit in mood and anxiety disorders from baseline and early treatment change assessments
- Testing the potential for a wide range of factors to predict patient benefit using mathematical and computational models
- Reducing the barriers between psychological and pharmacological treatments using an integrative framework
- Explore the way in which treatments work in different intervention approaches.
- Building a robust and informative model which offers predictions for whether psychological, drug or a combination treatment is most appropriate
- Developing bespoke combination treatments
- Conducting early phase testing of combinatorial therapy
- Working together with industry to test new compounds using existing agreements and research structure.
For researchers interested in working within the Clinical Research Infrastructure and Experimental Medicine theme, please contact Liliana.Capitao@psych.ox.ac.uk.